Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Newlyn East Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational Base.

This page as last updated at 9:00am on 30/4/14

Thank you for selecting information on the Newlyn East Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base in Cornwall. The info below have been supplied by CART's Devon CIO, Nina Hannaford.

If you can provide any more info please email

Research into this patrol and its training is ongoing. The information below is published from various sources and is by no means conclusive. If information is not listed below it does not necessarily mean the information is not out there but normally means CART researchers have not found it yet.

If you have any information on this patrol or can help with research in this area please do contact us.

The parish of St Newlyn East (usually abbreviated to Newlyn East) is about 5 miles south of Newquay.

From the very first meeting in Whitehall in July 1940 the Intelligence Officer for Devon and Cornwall (named Auxiliary Units SW Area) was Captain (later Colonel) J W Stuart Edmundson an officer in the Royal Engineers. He liaised with the regular army and received supplies and equipment and formed all the Patrols. He was assisted by Lieutenant (later Captain) John “Jack” Dingley who became IO for Cornwall in 1943 though he may have assumed the roll before that.

In November 1943 Devon and Cornwall were separated and  Edmundson was succeeded in Cornwall by Captain John Dingley and in Devon by Major W W “Bill” Harston who would remain in command until near stand down. At the end of Harston's command he would cover “No 4 Region” being the whole of the South West Peninsular and Wales.
The IOs were being withdrawn from around August 1944 leaving the Area and Group Commanders.

After 1941 a “grouping” system was developed where some patrols within a demographic area would train together under more local command. Newlyn East was part of group 3 along with Redruth, Mabe, Perranwell, Constantine, Truro, Perranporth, Philleigh   Grampound, St Colomb, St Mawgan, Probus and St Dennis. They were under the group command of Captain H W Abbiss from Truro along with Lieutenant F J Yeo and 2nd Lieutenant E K F Harte.

Captain H W Abbiss from Truro was also the area Commander for this and groups 1 to 4, covering two thirds of the county.

In 1945 Captain Abbiss was awarded the MBE ( Military Division).

Thought to be September 1940.

Sergeant James Rawlins 
Thomas Hoskings who was discharged to join H M Forces April 1943
Kenneth Woolcock who was discharged to H M Forces
S George Harris posted to 20th Devon Home Guard (Tiverton) on change of employment in March 1944
Leonard G Juniper
Samuel G Carpenter
R J Lucas

 Cornish Auxiliers

Known to be a stand down picture of at least group 3 and the officers from group 2.  Major Harston is in the middle of the second row with Captain Abbiss to his right. Taken at Idess Wood 1944

The OB was built in the vicinity of East Wheal Rose mine, about 150 yards to the south east of the surviving chimney stack. The underground bunker no longer survives and the site is beneath a golf course which is presently closed.

There are public rights of way over what was the golf course and the East Wheal Rose engine house and chimney stack can be explored by visiting the Lappa Valley Steam Railway.

                  Newlyn East Auxiliary Unit Patrol 1                   Newlyn East Auxiliary Unit Patrol 2

Chimney stack of East Wheal Rose mine 

From chimney stack looking towards OB site  

The OB was excavated and built by the patrol, a Nissen type hut was buried about 10ft underground as both a headquarters and ammunition and explosives storage bunker.

Newlyn East Auxiliary Unit Patrol 3

From the approximate OB site looking towards East Wheal Rose mine.

Though different now, the land around the mine was always known to be soft ground and the area prone to flooding. This could have compromised the OB location.

Currently unknown although the OB was right next to the Chacewater to Newquay rail line.

It is known the Patrol went to Coleshill to train and at some stage came second in a national competition for efficiency.

Newlyn East met up with and trained with other local patrols. They always met at night and at isolated locations.

Currently unknown but it is assumed they had access to the standard equipment.

Nothing currently

TNA ref WO199/3391
Hancock data held at B.R.A
Alwyn Harvey's research for Defence of Britain database

If you can help with any info please contact us.